Lithium Refining Is ‘Like Minting Money’

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  • Elon Musk says getting into the lithium company is a “license to print funds.”
  • He encouraged entrepreneurs to refine the metal, which is essential for electric powered-motor vehicle batteries. 
  • The value of lithium has skyrocketed, and some experts are worried that demand will outstrip source as electric-auto creation accelerates. 

Elon Musk is calling for more folks to get into the business enterprise of refining lithium, 1 of the crucial components in electric powered-car or truck batteries. 

The Tesla CEO on Wednesday urged business people to start off lithium-refining ventures, promising that coming into the organization is “a license to print income.”

“It is basically like minting money suitable now. There is, like, computer software margins in lithium processing ideal now,” he stated. “So I would really like to encourage, after once more, entrepreneurs to enter the lithium refining company. You are not able to drop.”

Lithium is plentiful, Musk pointed out. The challenging aspect, he claimed, is processing it to the place that it can be made use of in battery cells. “You have to refine the lithium into battery-grade lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide, which has to be incredibly large purity,” Musk mentioned.

The world transition to electrical automobiles has driven frenzied need for lithium, sending its price via the roof this yr. Lithium rates have additional than doubled because January and risen approximately 400% in the previous calendar year, in accordance to Benchmark Mineral Intelligence

Some specialists are concerned that there will not likely be sufficient battery-grade lithium to go around as automakers speed up production of electrical models in the coming several years. 

The scramble for the essential metallic has incentivized numerous startups to get into the lithium house and cement by themselves in the EV source chain. It’s also pushed vehicle companies to go straight to the resource and secure their personal provides by partnerships. Ford on Thursday introduced promotions with several corporations for lithium and nickel to assistance its EV output. 

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